# Quick and Easy Surveys

### Written by Donna Boucher

Donna has been a teacher, math instructional coach, interventionist, and curriculum coordinator. A frequent speaker at state and national conferences, she shares her love for math with a worldwide audience through her website, Math Coach’s Corner. Donna is also the co-author of Guided Math Workshop.

The idea of Quick Surveys comes from the book Minilessons for Math Practice, Grades K-2. Graphs are great tools for exploring many number concepts: addition, subtraction, counting, comparison (greater than, less than, equal), and when they are based on student interests, they make math more engaging. I can’t take credit for the graphing method shown in the picture below (I found it on Pinterest), but I LOVE it! I like the simplicity of it and how it’s such a great visual representation for comparing. It could be easily adapted for other than “yes” and “no” questions. The book, for example, uses things like  “shoelaces” and “no shoelaces” as the column headings. Just put your headings on index cards and tape them over the “yes” and “no” headings. As kiddos come in the room, they take their clothespin (see the names on them?) and respond to the survey. The discussion about the survey could take place during a math warm-up later in the day. And your first question should always be What do you notice? or What can you say about the graph? Think of all the responses that could be generated from this graph:

2. Fewer people don’t like gingerbread
4. 17 kids voted total
5. 7 more kids voted that they liked gingerbread
7. There are 19 in our class, but only 17 voted; 2 kids didn’t vote

I made this simple little form so the kids can move their concrete learning (clothespins on the graph) to representational learning. They could also use the form to write their own questions and poll their classmates. Click on the picture to download your copy for free.

Here’s another version of the graph. This one is half-page and goes to 25. It also has a second page that is blank instead of saying “yes” and “no”, so it’s more flexible.

• My pleasure, Elizabeth. 🙂

• Try again! I just fixed the share setting.

1. I love this! I am also unable to get the google docs link to work it says it is “not found”. Could you possibly email it to me?
Thanks!
Amy
Sweetpea5910@hotmail.com

• Should be “found” now. 🙂

2. ditto on the google docs issue. “Not Found Error 404”. We started back to school yesterday I can’t wait to use this with the kids!

• Thanks for the heads up, guys! I hadn’t “shared” the document. Oops. It’s fixed now—please try again! Sorry for the trouble.

3. Wow! I’ve always done lots of graphing during my calendar time, but this is such a clever way to make it quick and easy! Love it!

• I know! We’ve traditionally used pocket charts, but I like this so much better.

4. Your clothes pin graph idea is great. I have 25 children in my class and wondered if you could create a recording sheet with more than 22 spaces?
If you could tell me where to get the cute border, I could try and recreate one with 25 spaces.
Thanks,
Terry
THYordan@aol.com

• Great idea! Check back up in the post…I updated it and included an additional version. 🙂

5. I’m moving up from 1st grade 3rd grade this year. I always had my students do a graphing question that we would discuss. Do you think this is something 3rd graders need to continue doing?? If so what types of graphs or do you have an ideas?

• Absolutely! Graphing is important at all grade levels. You can make the questions a little more complex, with more than just two options. You can also have them practice double bar graphs by using different color clothespins for the boys and girls.

6. Thanks for the freebies!

Jenny

• You’re quite welcome!

7. Great ideas for graphing. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

• You’re welcome, Sue! I love having the opportunity to share!

8. I love incorporating graphing! I have a graphing template that works for any class size that is free in my store, but it is meant more for one question that is done as a class. I’ll be very glad to supplement my graphing instruction with your template, because it allows students to make their own questions. 🙂

9. Hi, Donna! I’ve found your blog (love it!!!) when I was a math coach and now I’m back in the classroom. I love these surveys but I’m wondering if you know of a similar book for intermediate grades. Thanks! = )

• Actually, yes, Amy! There is a 3-5 version.

• Thank you! I should’ve checked before replying…I found it and ordered it shortly after asking you earlier. Haha!